Food banks in Derbyshire are being invited to apply for over £100,000 of funding from Derbyshire County Council to help people on low incomes buy food.
The rising cost of living combined with low incomes, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to food banks for help. Between 2012 and 2013 food banks fed 346,992 people nationwide. Of those helped, 126,889 were children.
There are currently 14 food banks in Derbyshire run by charities and non-profit organisations that distribute food parcels to those who are most in need.
Now the council is inviting these organisations to apply for a share of £108,000 to help them respond to the increasing local demand.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said: “Many of the most vulnerable people in our communities are living on the verge of crisis because of the scale of national cuts.
“This winter many families and older people will be faced with the appalling decision of whether to heat or eat. That’s why we are providing extra funds to help food banks offer emergency support wherever it’s needed.”
People in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Food banks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis.
There are currently food banks based in Ilkeston, Bolsover, Clay Cross, Ashbourne, Gamesley, Glossop, Matlock, Holmewood, Buxton, Long Eaton, Swadlincote, Killamarsh, Chesterfield and Belper.
These centres are mainly run by volunteers and most of the food is donated by local people although there is an increasing trend towards donations from local supermarkets.
As well as providing grant funding the council has also made premises available as collection points for food donations.
To receive a food parcel, people need to be referred to a food bank from children’s centres, GPs, advice agencies, schools, the probation service or the Police.